Monday, March 9, 2009

Joe And Will Ask? Interview

Joseph Ashworth and William Green make up the brilliant duo of Joe And Will Ask?. They have just released a 2 track EP on the respected Kitsuné label, and aren't stopping there. There previous work has gotten incredible acclaim, and it just keeps coming. We got a chance to interview Joe, and we think you'll really enjoy it.

Thanks a lot for doing this interview. Let's get started.

How old were you guys when you first started making music and what was the reason?

I (Joe) remember buying 'Music' for the Playstation 1. I must have been 11 or something like that. I just used it to try and copy my favourite dance songs, although it taught me the basics of sequencing. Once I finally got my PC, I got a copy of Cubase and just started messing around. There was never a point where I decided I wanted to be a producer. Will hadn't produced until we met. 

How did you two meet?

We met through a friend. We were both studying at the time at different universities, but we got on well and shared a common music taste. 

Who are some of your main musical influences?

Leftfield, Kraftwerk, Richie Hawtin, Chemical Brothers, Amon Tobin, and we are always being inspired by the music around us; techno/tech-house/electro/some pop.

How would you describe your music?

Well it varies quite a lot, but I would say energetic, bass-driven, melodic, dancey!

I'm sure you are asked this a lot, but how did you guys come up with the name Joe And Will Ask?

Haha we are as it happens! And the answer isn't very interesting - it was just a silly name we came up with before we decided we wanted to make anything serious - it was going to be like "Joe and Will ask"... "what is electro?" - kind of making fun of ourselves. It stuck and we quite like it now. 

Were you guys brought up with music or was it something you guys later adapted?

I (Joe) took piano and saxophone lessons from quite young, although I never especially enjoyed them to be honest. The same goes for Will and his cello! Haha. But I was always around music from a young age. I listened mainly to reggae when I was young!

Do you approach a remix differently than an original, and if so how?

Yeh totally. We like every remix to be different - to have more than just noises from the original. I like to capture the atmosphere, and more subtle elements. Often though, we will start a remix, then scrap the parts from the original and end up making a new song, and the way the other way around. 

What do you to make your music and to perform live?

We produce with Cubase and tons of plug-ins (our favorites being z3ta, Absynth, and the Moog and Korg Legacy emulations). For performance, we both use Ableton Live on 2 computers, and sync up so that we are both adding different elements of the songs.

I am aware that you guys used to be associated with the Drum & Bass scene. How did you switch over to making electro music?

It was just me actually. Will was more of a hard-house fan. Haha. There was a period of about two years where I made more experimental music in different time structures and with recorded fucked up noises in between the drum and bass phase and this project. The transition was a weird one, but it's an entirely different way of putting noises together. Our music now definitely has elements of drum and bass and ambientness to it though.

From a DJ standpoint do you know intuitively what songs to play to certain crowds based on the first song you play or does it take you time to really know what the crowd wants to hear?

I'm sure many essays have been written by many DJ's on this. You can learn a lot from turning up a few hours early before your set and watching how the crowd reacts to the other DJs. Knowing what to play is a balance of a lot of factors.

Is there any track that you guys can play anywhere and know will always really get the crowd going?

We seem to have one for a few months, then another. It was the Popof remix of "John Starlight - Road Rage" for Autumn/Winter, "Funkagenda - What The Fuck" or "Kevin Saunderson - Bassline 2008" before that. Right now our next single "Mongozo" is getting the biggest reactions of everything we play. 

Who is the coolest or most exciting person you've gotten to meet or play with so far?

Brodinski is a lovely guy. He has done a lot to support us. We have supported Eric Prydz a few times. He is an awesome guy.

You guys just put out an EP on Kitsuné. How does it feel to have a release on a big label that contributes a lot to electronic music?

It's great. It has switched a lot of people on to us who didn't know us before.

What's going on in 2009 for Joe And Will Ask?

Our next single "Mongozo EP" is coming out at the end of March. That's going to be huge! Aside from that, we have spent the last few months in the studio remixing for Hockey, Kris Menace, Sharam Jey, Acid Girls, Franz And Shape, and loads more. All of these will be out soon. We have going live soon, with new t-shirts, and we are in the studio with Micachu working on a song which is awesome!

What is it that Joe and Will are asking?

It's something different every time. Right now we are asking what to have for lunch. 

What is one thing you guys really want people to know about you?

That we are so grateful to anyone who buys any of our songs, or comes to any of our gigs.

Can you name a few artists you think everyone should be keeping an eye on?

Basti Grub, Jesper Dahlback, Arrow, Noob, Italoboyz.

What are your top favorite tracks at the moment?

Milton Channels - Black Is Black

Reboot - Vandon

Kolumbo - Sniff

Pryda - Loaded

Thanks again. Any last words?

Just a reminder about Mongozo EP. It's going to be up on our myspace in the next few days. And thanks for reading!

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